Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs boys lacrosse team makes its first appearance at the three-state Border War Tournament when it opens with scrimmages today.
The Border War event, held in Grand Junction, is a relatively young tournament, but it generates a lot of interest from schools in Colorado, Utah and as far away as California, Sailors coach Bob Hiester said.
Steamboat enters the tournament 0-6 overall, but the Sailors will benefit from playing three exhibitions and three games over the course of the event.
"There is no substitute for playing time on the field," Hiester said.
The six schools representing Colorado in the tournament are Steamboat, Eaglecrest, Fort Collins, Mullen, Overland and Smoky Hill.
Five schools from Utah will be on hand: Alta, Bingham, Jordan, Judge Memorial and Mountain View.
"They have a pretty good league going in the Salt Lake City area," Hiester said.
Many schools in Colorado started with club lacrosse teams before the sport was sanctioned and brought into the high schools. Utah went through a similar process.
The lone California school traveling to Grand Junction this weekend is Poway. California boasts many lacrosse powers, particularly in the southern portion of the state.
Steamboat enter today's scrimmages having lost to Colorado Springs School, 3-1, on March 21 in Colorado Springs. It most recently lost 7-1 to Fountain Valley on March 29.
Steamboat is in its second year as a high school program.
"Our problem is our offensive skills right now," Hiester said. "It takes a while for the offense to come in."
Defensively, the coach added, his team has played well. Hiester said the score in the Sailors' game on March 29 was closer than the 7-1 final indicates.
The score was 2-0 at halftime, before Fountain Valley scored a goal in the third. Steamboat's goalie then took a shot in the shoulder and had to leave the game.
Sailors senior Cooper Howard came on to play goalie, but he's more experienced in the field, and the Sailors went on to lose 7-1.
Today, Steamboat scrimmages Mountain View, Alta and Judge Memorial.
Friday, Steamboat plays Mountain View and Jordan before wrapping up the Border War Tournament against Bingham on Saturday.
Hiester hopes holding the tournament in Grand Junction will help plant the lacrosse bug in the Grand Junction schools, which would allow the Sailors more competition in the Western Slope and provide Front Range schools with future competition as well.
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